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I recently had a trainer recommend a gentle leader for my GSD. I went to the store this morning to find numerous different makes and models. Is there a difference? What should I use? I am new to using this training tool, so I thought maybe some people with more experience could give me some ideas.

Thanks,
Karen NE. PA
 

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We have not used any head harnesses so I can't help you with those. We do use the Easy Walk by Gentle Leader and we think they are great. I like the fact that the control point is in front of the chest, not the neck or head. The dogs do respond to them and even if they are in high prey drive (passing squirrel?), they can be controlled.
 

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IMO, and not trying to be rude................. but I think that all those so called "gentle leader" type leads are just a lazy way of getting out of real dog training!

A properly trained dog, yes EVEN A GSD, can walk with out pulling on a regular leash!!!!

If your TRAINER
is recommending this type of lead, I would find myself a different trainer!!!!
 

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Originally Posted By: AniadoubleIMO, and not trying to be rude................. but I think that all those so called "gentle leader" type leads are just a lazy way of getting out of real dog training!

A properly trained dog, yes EVEN A GSD, can walk with out pulling on a regular leash!!!!

If your TRAINER
is recommending this type of lead, I would find myself a different trainer!!!!
While the Gentle Leader isn't a substitute for training your dog to walk on a leash, there are times when my dog spots a deer or squirrel and forgets - the GL sure helps with control in those cases and I feel more comfortable when she is wearing a GL or a prong collar.
 

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Originally Posted By: MayzieGSD
Originally Posted By: AniadoubleIMO, and not trying to be rude................. but I think that all those so called "gentle leader" type leads are just a lazy way of getting out of real dog training!
While the Gentle Leader isn't a substitute for training there are times when my dog spots a deer or squirrel and forgets - the GL sure helps with control in those cases and I feel more comfortable when she is wearing a GL or a prong collar

Unfortunately, most people get the GL because they are too lazy to do the proper training!

I prefer the prong collar over any other collar. For me it has provides the most control PLUS you can correct with it. You CANNOT correct with a GL!
 

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A dog will pull on any kind of leash or harness (other than I suppose a prong) without training. I just prefer not to use the neck for control. Our dogs walk on slack leash with the harness as they should.

We used a prong on our previous dog Sophie. I will admit I'm sure we did not use it 100% properly, nor did we have the best prong (based on some I've seen since) but I'm not a fan of them. I do see lots of folks on here using them and swear by them so I would certainly not suggest the OP should not consider them.
 

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Originally Posted By: Aniadouble
Originally Posted By: MayzieGSD
Originally Posted By: AniadoubleIMO, and not trying to be rude................. but I think that all those so called "gentle leader" type leads are just a lazy way of getting out of real dog training!
While the Gentle Leader isn't a substitute for training there are times when my dog spots a deer or squirrel and forgets - the GL sure helps with control in those cases and I feel more comfortable when she is wearing a GL or a prong collar

Unfortunately, most people get the GL because they are too lazy to do the proper training!

I prefer the prong collar over any other collar. For me it has provides the most control PLUS you can correct with it. You CANNOT correct with a GL!
Totally agree find yourself a new trainer!!!
if my trainer ever told me to get a GL, I'd be telling him/her give me my money back

A trainer is suppose to teach you how to train your dog
I never leave the house without Brady on a prong collar not that I need to correct him but if I have too.
Brady doesn't pull and when he does I say no and he corrects himself
 

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Heidi was a big puller when we first got her. We tried the Gentle Leader and she hated it, plus it started to leave an intention on her nose (and we did have it fitted correctly). What helped the most was the Easy Walk Harness. Something about the pressure on her chest made her slow down more than the pressure on her neck/head.
 

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Hi Karen, How old is you dog and what training issue are you working on with the trainer?

Is your pup pulling or are you working on him being reactive while on leash? Different kinds of equipment are appropriate depending on the age of the dog, the problem you are addressing and whether or not you wish to use positive or adversive training methods.

For pulling, I've found the front attaching harness to work very well as a training tool. My dog can be reactive to other dogs when she is leashed. All of the positive reinforcement trainers I've spoken to have recommended a head halter. The Gentle Leader head halter fits a bit more snugly around the dog's nose than the Halti and is therefore makes it harder to slip off the dog. There's another called a Snoop Loop that's similar to the Gentle Leader in style.

I personally prefer the Halti as it lays flat on the dogs nose and has a piece that attaches to the collar as well. It been a wonderful tool for us while we worked on this problem and I've had very good results.

I totally disagree that it's the lazy person's way of training. It's a tool like any other that if used correctly helps you train your dog.

If your problem is leash aggression, please do not use a prong. Every trainer I spoke to advised me that in reactive dogs, prongs increase aggression, as the dog associates the approaching dog with the discomfort from the prong.
 

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Gentle Leader and Halti are two different brand names for types of head halters (or head collars, as some people call them). The theory behind these collars is that control of the head gives you control of the dog, and therefore, prevents the dog from pulling ahead and allows you to teach the dog to walk nicely.

That is a very good theory, but I think in practice, the majority of people who purchase head halters don't learn how to use them correctly and get them in lieu of training, not to support training. I frequently see and hear people at pet stores asking employees, "My trainer told me this would stop him from pulling, can you show us how to fit it?"

Then they put it on and their dog stops pulling - well, the dog stops pulling because pulling bends his head around, which is uncomfortable, but the dog doesn't actually learn not to pull when he's not on the head harness.

If you have a dog that lunges at other dogs or people or who will chase after a deer or rabbit, the head halters are not at all suited (IMHO) to deal with that type of behavior. Imagine an excited dog, or a dog in prey drive taking off toward the end of the lead on a head halter. The dog hits the end of the lead. Unless you're letting go of the lead, his head is going to get snapped around, which has a serious potential for injury to the neck and spine.

There is a great article on Suzanne Clothier's website, http://www.flyingdogpress.com, called The Problem with Head Halters. You have to sign up to access the articles section (it's free), but it's worth going through that to access what she has written, not just about the head halters but in general.

Like everyone else who's posted on this thread, I would prefer the front-clip harnesses or prong collars over using a head halter any day.
 

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Nicely written Chris!
I'm not as eloquent.....
 

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I have had nothing but positive results with a Gentle leader. And as KeiraGirl stated they are a training tool. This is not meant to remove any type of training, but meant to help teach the dog how to react and respond. With my previous dog Jax we had him on a GL through his training classes. (basic OB) He did very well with AND without the GL on. It acts as a correction device if the dog pulls, you give a gentle pull on the lead, and then release the pressure, thus acting like a pack leader would in putting pressure on the dogs nose. Nothing will replace proper training, but IMHO a GL is a great way to go.
 

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I agree with Pat that it has its uses! And I wouldn't worry about a dog breaking his neck running after something, after all these thing should be used on a SHORT leash with the dog right next to you. So a dog shouldn't get the opportunity to run at all.

As for which one to get, I bought the Halti because it has a safety leash built into it that attaches to the dog's regular collar. If the dog decides to take the harness off, then your leash is still connected to the dog via this safety leash.

I bought mine not because my dog was pulling, but because I was watching Cesar use it to redirect the attention of a dog that was aggressive towards other dogs. I have a dog that would keep staring at other dogs as we passed them, which would just get him and the other dog riled up. If I corrected him with a leash pop, he could still be staring at the other dog. A prong collar has the chance of inciting the dog to get even more riled up in these cases.
 

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I'll answer for BandCsmom since I know her dog...

He is 3 and is aggressive/reactive

So..I'm confused...one post said no prong for this type of dog...another recommended it.....
 

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Originally Posted By: myamomI'll answer for BandCsmom since I know her dog...

He is 3 and is aggressive/reactive

So..I'm confused...one post said no prong for this type of dog...another recommended it.....
Her post didn't make any mention of that fact, which I think is an important consideration. I would not use a prong, or any other type of corrective collar for that type of dog. I also like the front hook harnesses, either the Easy Walk or the Sense-ation. It doesn't issue a correction like a prong, but it gives you more control than a flat collar, without any chance of damage to the neck. As others have mentioned, any collar should be used in conjunction with training, not as a substitute for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Maryann, you need to empty your pm box.
 

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Done
 

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Head halters.........I love them I hate them........

Ive had great success using a head halter on my fearful dog Libby for walking, it was a nice tool to help me gain a little control, so i could train her, and we weaned off it nicely and it was the right tool for HER. As for name brand I prefer the Gentle leader over the hati its a little easer to put on.

I started with one of these for my pup Dexter and I regret it!!! This was NOT the right tool for him. He was a Reactive leash aggressive, barrier frustrated pup. The GL was very uncomfortable for him, he was not my happy little guy when that thing was on. He was constantly trying to get it off by rubbing at it, itching it, summer salts and most embarrassing of all rubbing his nose in people groins, trying to get it off.

There is nothing natural about controlling a dogs head and forcing it to the side. Not to mention no where in the packaging or video dose it warn you of the spine damage you can cause. If it is a dog that is reactive hes going to lunge and pull, When a dog lunges its easy for us to Jerk the leash, The G.L. is not meant for correction and you can really hurt a dog badly by jerking on your leash with one on, its more dangerous then a prong. I finally realized the G.L. was prob causing more harm then good, so we went to the easy walk front clip harness. I loved that tool for walking he was very comfortable in it, but it still wasn't the right tool for our issue the feeling of being held back with a barrier frustrated pup was not helping either.

Finally we realized we may need something more adverse but we were not about to experiment with any of that on our own. We found an Amazing trainer /behaviorist who was able to really help us. She was able to read our dog and let us know what he was really feeling, and what tool is going to work best. he wasn't looking for a fight, he wouldn't act like this off leash in play so he wasn't really fearful of the other dogs, he just liked to act this way when he was behind a barrier or when he felt "Safe" therefore a prong ended up being the right tool we needed. The prong works like another dogs teeth. Other dogs correct each other all the time, its dog psychology it makes sense to the dog. I was finally able to speak to him in a manner he understood and respected. The progress we are making is UNBELIEVABLE.

I think it all boils down to what will work best for YOUR dog.

Originally Posted By: KeiraGirl
If your problem is leash aggression, please do not use a prong. Every trainer I spoke to advised me that in reactive dogs, prongs increase aggression, as the dog associates the approaching dog with the discomfort from the prong.
Yes this may be the case, but not always a prong can work with a barrier frustrated "leash aggressive" dog but the only way to know is to have them read by a professional.
 
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